Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The Art of the Barfly
I just returned from a weekend long writer's conference in my hometown. One of the great things about conferences is that writers can network with big editors and agents and even meet their own editors face to face. You get to pick and choose which workshops you want to attend and chat it up with other authors.
Funny thing is, at events like this, I love being a barfly and listening to industry professionals gab about the latest trends, best sellers and *gasp*...pitches from starry eyed writers. Barfly is the appropriate word too, not because I'm as much a part of the scenery as the bar stools but because I become like a fly on the wall. After a long plane ride, tons of workshops and hours of pitches, editors and agents want to relax too. And what is it about this profession? Many of us enjoy a good cocktail...or two or three. This is a great time to either strike up a conversation...not a pitch....big no no...but schmoozing with some of New York's finest is a big perk at these events.
So, do I have your attention now? Do you want to know some of the trends I'm hearing right from the mouth of the holy, holy agents and editors? From the very mouths of the folks that sign us? Listen up.
Number 1, paranormal is not going anywhere. Yes, I've heard that the market is saturated too. I've heard editors and agents will puke if they have to read another tale about a shifter or a vamp or a dragon or a fairy. Wrong. Big myth. From what I heard last weekend, paranormal is strong and growing, especially in the YA market. And it's not slowing down in the adult market either. Now we have erotic vamps too. How sexy is that? We even have mermaids lusting over vikings. Not to worry...if you're a paranormal author, you're red hot right now.
Number 2, Want to know what industry professionals are hungry for right now more than ever? I did. And I don't write it either but you might. Write it down. High concept science fiction. And hold onto your seats folks....this is a genre considered dead right now by many...thought I never thought so...I know many, many readers that love it and I don't ever see it going away. Historicals. Keep writing those babies. What kind of historicals are agents and editors hungry for right now? Erotic regency. So if you're talented enough to write these..uh...I wrote one and the research nearly killed me...go for it.
Number 3, Want to know what editors and agents are sick to death of seeing land in their inbox and pitch sessions? Sexy cops. Men in uniform. The industry is truly sick of the detective, fireman, policeman that comes to the lady's rescue. It's a tired old plot. From what I hear, don't even try it.
So, to recap...Paranormal is here to stay for Adult and YA. High concept SF is gaining steam and the NY elite are slobbering for ultra sexy historicals, especially regency. And no cops, detectives or men in uniform. Boring, boring, boring.
So, you see, there are more benefits to drinking red wine. Become a barfly like me at your next writer's conference. You won't be sorry.